Abī-Ešuḫ (variants: ma-bi-ši,[i 1] "Abiši", mE-bi-šum,[i 2] "Ebišum") was the 8th king of the 1st Dynasty of Babylon and reigned for 28 years from ca. 1648–1620 BC (short chronology) or 1711–1684 BC (middle chronology).[1] He was preceded by Samsu-iluna, who was his father.

TitleKing of Babylon
Term28 years; c. 1648–1620 BC


His exuberant titles included, “descendant of Sumu-la-El, princely heir of Samsu-iluna, eternal seed of kingship, mighty king, king of Babylon, king of the land of Sumer and Akkad, king who makes the four quarters be at peace.” This was presumably achieved by his two aggressive military campaigns. His fourth year-name records that he subdued the army of the Kassites.[i 3] The Chronicle of Early Kings[i 1] recalls his damming of the Tigris in a vain attempt to capture Ilum-ma-ilī, the founder of the Sealand Dynasty. A clay cylinder fragment[i 4] from Kiš is tentatively assigned to this king because the events it commemorates coincide with three of his year-names. It mentions the Tigris river (year “o” the damming of the Tigris), the Tigris gate (year “m” the ká-gal-i7idigna), the fashioning of a mace for Marduk (year “g”) and digging of the Zubi canal (year “I”). He is described as “the great champion” in his son, Ammi-Ditana's inscription,[i 5] and in the genealogy of his descendant Ammī-ṣaduqa.[2] The Elamites under their king Kutir-nahhunte I raided into Babylonia early in his reign and sacked 30 cities.

Two copies of a building inscription[i 6] commemorate his construction activities at Luḫaia, a town founded by Ḫammu-rāpi on the Araḫtum canal to the north of Babylon.[3] A single inscription exists found on an onyx eye stone dedicated to the goddess Ningal.[i 7]

He is richly attested in the cylinder seal impressions of his minions with one[i 8] of his servant, Lamānum, son of Bēl-kulla, another[i 9] of Luštāmar-Adad, son of Mār-Sipparim, another[i 10] of Nabi’um-an[dasa], son of Ilšu-ib[nīšu], another[i 11] … son of Awīl-…, another[i 12] Ilšu-nāṣir, diviner, son of Marduk-nāṣir, another a copy[i 13] Iddin-Šamaš, sanga priest of the goddess Ninisina, son of Ku-Ninisina, and another[i 14] overseer of the merchants, Sīn-iddina[m] son of Šērum-bān[i].[3] The Uruk List of Kings and Sages[i 15] records that “during the reign of Abī-ešuḫ, the king, Gimil-Gula and Taqis-Gula were the scholars.”.[4]


  1. ^ a b Chronicle of Early Kings, (ABC 20), Tablet B, reverse, lines 8 to 10.
  2. ^ Babylonian King List B, obverse line 8.
  3. ^ Tablet BM 16998.
  4. ^ Ash. 1924.616.
  5. ^ Late Babylon copy on a tablet, BM 38308.
  6. ^ Tablets BM 38446 and BM 55472 + 40125.
  7. ^ Eyestone, Ash. 1922.293.
  8. ^ On tablet MLC 2239 dated to year 20 of Ammī-ditāna, at Yale.
  9. ^ On tablets YBC 8385 and YBC 5885 dated to Abī-Ešuḫ’s years “m” and “y,” at Yale.
  10. ^ On tablet MLC 1539, at Yale.
  11. ^ On tablet UMM 36, in the University Museum of Manchester.
  12. ^ Cylinder seal VA 3242, in Berlin.
  13. ^ Cylinder seal BM 89101, in the British Museum.
  14. ^ Cylinder seal in the Lands of the Bible Archaeology Foundation.
  15. ^ W 20030,7 the Seleucid List of Sages and Scholars, recovered from Anu’s Bīt Rēš temple during the 1959/60 excavation.


  1. ^ Albert Kirk Grayson (1975). Assyrian and Babylonian chronicles. J. J. Augustin. p. 203.
  2. ^ JJ Finkelstein, JCS 20, 1966, p96, 27.
  3. ^ a b Douglas Frayne (1990). Old Babylonian period (2003-1595 BC): Early Periods, Volume 4 (RIM The Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia). University of Toronto Press. pp. 404–410.
  4. ^ Alan Lenzi (2008). "The Uruk List of Kings and Sages and Late Mesopotamian Scholarship". Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions. 8 (2): 137–169. doi:10.1163/156921208786611764.

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Preceded by Kings of Babylon Succeeded by